Archive News Story January 2014This page was published as a news story on the date shown. Please use the search facility or contact us to see if the information has since been updated Help us improve your services

Posted on Thursday 13th February 2014

Archive News Story: January 2014
This page was published as a news story on the date shown. 
Please use the search facility or contact us to see if the information has since been updated

Take our online survey and tell us what you think about our proposals to improve your services - and you could win £50 Love2Shop vouchers in our prize draw!

Our online survey is open to all THH residents

Tower Hamlets Homes has achieved a great deal since it was established in 2008, but we know that our services can still be improved. Resident satisfaction has increased from 58% to 77%, but that’s not good enough.

Our vision is to provide the best housing services in Tower Hamlets by 2014 and our aspiration does not stop there. We know that we can become a brilliant organisation that rivals the best in the country. Our recent success at national awards shows how close we are getting.

But, if we are honest, we also know that our current way of working is holding us back. Welfare reform and cuts to local government funding are making this challenge even harder. More residents need more help and there are fewer support services on offer elsewhere. We need to step up.

Therefore, we have come up with a plan to improve the way we work and the services you receive. The sections below set out these proposals.

These proposals are about delivering a better service with the resources we have and is not seeking to make any savings or cuts and there is no proposals to reduce the number of staff we employ.


Until the end of January 2014, we will be carrying out consultation with staff and residents. We believe that our plan will help us to provide outstanding services but we want to hear your thoughts.

Nobody knows our service better than you – the good and the bad. Whilst we are proposing an improved way of working, it will not succeed without your input. This is a great opportunity to build the service you deserve.

We are running an online survey that is open to all THH residents and we will be carrying out a telephone survey of 500 residents. Once all of the feedback is received, our Board will make a final decision about how to go forward.


  • New approach based on resident feedback
  • Improving your experience and satisfaction
  • Tailoring our services to different residents’ needs
  • Refocusing not reducing staff
  • Directing resources to where they are needed most
  • Better and simpler ways of working
  • One point of access for all services
  • Turning instinct into insight


What residents have said so far:

  • Friendly local face
  • Quality of cleaning has improved a lot over the last few years
  • Always nice to have a chat
  • Deep clean works look great but they do not happen often enough
  • Cleaning is good during the week but blocks are often a mess for the whole weekend
  • Different blocks get different levels of cleaning
  • Satisfaction level varies a lot across Neighbourhoods (see chart below)









Click to enlarge image

Our proposal:

  • Not cutting the number of caretakers but improving standards
  • Each caretaker will still have a local patch to clean
  • Changing the frequency of tasks to make sure that regular problems - such as bin chutes - are cleaned more often
  • Some blocks will be visited more and some blocks will be visited less depending on need - but all will have an improved standard of cleaning
  • More deep cleaning - using technology to improve the look of floors, lifts, and hard surfaces
  • Introduce weekend cleaning in blocks that are near a lot of weekend activity  
  • Increase the size of the mobile Caretaking Support Team to do more deep cleans


What residents have said so far:

  • Good to have someone to champion the local area
  • Takes the time to listen
  • Someone who is accountable
  • Often very busy & can’t get hold of someone
  • Don’t always get back to me
  • Spend a lot of time chasing other bits of THH
  • Can’t always fix my issue – esp. if it is complicated
  • Service quality can be a lottery – hit and miss
  • ‘Everywhere is silver’ & some places have not improved

Our proposal:

  • Not changing Neighbourhoods
  • No longer one officer assigned to each patch - they will focus on where the need is greatest 
  • Not cutting the number of officers
  • Better use of information to target resources – turning instinct into insight
  • Neighbourhood Champion to ensure local voice is not lost & to drive the Neighbourhood Plans
  • Staff will be given more specialist roles depending on their skills and interests - including expert housing management officers and a dedicated team for supporting vulnerable residents 


What residents have said so far:

  • Satisfaction has increased over the last few years
  • Courtesy of contractors has improved
  • Issues with contact centre
  • Standard of works varies
  • Appointments are often missed
  • Issues are not always fixed first time
  • Communication is poor throughout

Our proposal:

  • Introducing Repairs Customer Services Officers to improve communication - making sure we let you know what is happening
  • Giving technical staff expert management
  • Improving diagnosis of repairs so we get it right first time
  • Strengthening the monitoring and management of our repairs contract
  • Carrying out regular inspections of each Neighbourhood to identify specific repairs issues
  • Providing automatic compensation for missed appointments


What residents have said so far:

  • Very supportive and understanding officers
  • Prepared to take serious cases to court
  • A few ‘big wins’
  • Not sure what issues they have responsibility for
  • Often don’t hear back after issue is reported
  • Officers don’t always have the skills or experience to deal with complex cases

Our proposal:

  • Keeping the same number of officers
  • Dedicated and expert manager to deal with complex cases – as recommended by Resident Panel’s Scrutiny Review
  • Improved training
  • Focus on key housing management issues - not everything from litter to murder
  • Clearer referrals of illegal activity to police
  • Improved communication about progress on cases

Calling THH

What residents have said so far:

  • Housing Service Centre resolves many issues first time
  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • Have access to a lot of information
  • Satisfaction over 80%
  • Staff don’t always know much about Tower Hamlets
  • Not many Bengali speakers
  • Callers can get bounced around

Our proposal:

  • Increasing the number of officers in the team - including more local Bengali-speaking staff
  • Expert housing advisers answering calls - not call centre operatives – working with housing officers
  • Resolving more issues at first contact
  • Referrals to other services areas if specialist input is required
  • All contact channelled through the team – great results from pilot
  • Contact with this team means all enquiries get logged on the system, don’t get lost, and we can provide immediate responses.
Posted on Thursday 13th February 2014